Niacin, which is also called ‘Nicotinic acid’, is an organic compound which is also one of the essential nutrients that a human needs. And to the question if ‘Niacin’ supplements can improve cholesterol or not, I would give a big ‘Yes’. Niacin can be used not just for the treatment of cholesterol problem
but also for the treatment of ‘Pellagra’, which is a disease associated with the deficiency of ‘Niacin’.
The people who have undesirable cholesterol levels often try to regulate and normalize the level of cholesterol by taking a balanced diet and by exercising but when even these approaches are not able to improve a person’s cholesterol, the associated person should start consuming ‘Niacin’ or Vitamin
B-3 to improve the levels of cholesterol in his/her body reducing the risk of heart attacks but there
are certain side-effects and drawbacks of this approach if done in an improper manner. Let’s discuss all about Niacin and the proper and desired manner of taking Niacin supplements to improve cholesterol level of a person:-
What is Niacin?
Niacin is a type of B-vitamin which has been bought in use since ages, for the purpose of increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol and decreasing the amount of LDL or bad cholesterol from the human blood stream. Niacin is also called ‘Nicotinic acid’. Niacin is responsible for the conversion of eaten food into energy and it helps to keep skin, digestive system and nervous system healthy. Most of Niacin is obtained by people from the food they eat and thus there is no ‘much’ or nearly ‘little’ needs to depend on supplements for getting this vitamin. Niacin in higher dosages is also associated with several side effects also.
Use Of Niacin Supplements To Improve Cholesterol:-
In order to correct a vitamin deficiency or to improve cholesterol in an associated person, the person is prescribed with a dose of Niacin rich drugs like ‘Niacor’ or ‘Niaspin’ but this prescription should only be made by a doctor as those who consume ‘Niacin’ without a prescription encounter serious side effects. To the question if Niacin supplements can be used to improve cholesterol or not, I would reply with a firm ‘yes’. But to the question if someone can take Niacin supplements by himself or not, I would reply with a big ‘No’. Everyone should take Niacin only after the prescription/recommendation by a good doctor.
What Happens When We Consume Niacin?
When we consume Niacin, it raises the HDL level of the concerned person’s body. Niacin has in fact, the power to increase the HDL level of a person up to 30%. This acts as a disposal way for the LDL and brings about a balance and improvement of cholesterol in the concerned person’s body. The fact is clear that Niacin has the ability to raise the level of HDL in human body but there are also some side effects concerned as well and most of these side effects occur because of an overdose or without recommendation dose.
Side Effects of Niacin:-
Niacin in the form of a dietary supplement is nothing else but a drug and the over-dose of every drug is likely to come up with some serious side-effects. This is why Niacin should only be consumed under medical prescription. The kinds of Niacin available on medical stores vary in effectiveness, risks and strengths so we can’t specify the exact side effects that one can experience after consuming these supplements but one thing is sure that with variety of Niacin available in the market, one is sure to get confused with the purchase of a Niacin supplement for himself without a doctor’s recommendation. A high dose of Niacin can result in intense flushing in most of the cases. In some other cases, it can also cause a liver damage. Some also report it to have increased their blood sugar. People also connect Niacin consumption in an overdose with an increased risk of ‘Gout.
Different Forms of Niacin:-
1. Nicotinic acid: –
Nicotinic acid is the form of Niacin that improves the cholesterol level of the blood stream.
2. Immediate release Niacin: –
This one is quite cheap but effective. It is likely to cause more flushing and thus most people quit consuming this type of Niacin once they experience flushing.
3. Sustained release/ Extended release Niacin: –
This type of Niacin causes less flushing but it is connected with more cases of liver toxicity.
4. No-flush Niacin: –
This kind of Niacin has very little or nearly ‘No’ effect on cholesterol.
With so many kinds of Niacin available in the market, there can be varied chances of risks and side effects concerned with Niacin consumption. Many other kinds of Niacin like ‘Niacin amide’, ‘Inositol Hexanicotinate’ etc. are also available in the market.
Little knowledge is always harmful and so is the case with Niacin. Almost all problems connected with ‘Niacin consumption’ result because of an overdose and improper choice of Niacin. So one should choose a specific kind of Niacin for himself/herself only after getting it recommended from a good doctor. Flushing is quite normal with most kinds of Niacin but it is quite normal to take place after Niacin consumption and soon this flushing gets faded after some time. Niacin is a boon if consumed with proper recommendation and prescription of a good doctor and it can also prove a bane for someone if consumed in an overdose or improper dose. Thus one should be cautious and careful while using Niacin supplements to improve cholesterol.